Master of Fine Arts in Theatre, Design
Study with dedicated professionals in a hands-on learning environment.
- Supportive one-on-one learning environment
- Costume, scenic and lighting design classes with nationally recognized designers
- Extensive design opportunities
- Professional internships
- Graduate Assistantships available
Our program is an intensive study in design with solid grounding in craft and collaboration. Courses and productions artfully incorporate the latest technology. Our staff consists of talented artisans with extensive professional experience. Students work closely with graduate directing and graduate dramatic writing students.
The MFA degree is earned upon successful completion of
- all required coursework
- 2 summer internships at a professional theatre or film venue
- Affiliation with Zach Theatre in Austin provides the first internship opportunity assisting professional designers
- at least one production assignment each semester
- at least one portfolio presentation and review each semester
For additional information and application procedures, please contact Sarah Maines: firstname.lastname@example.org.
MFA Studio I (Styles)
This course is an investigation of theatrical styles through the lens of theatrical design.
MFA Studio II: Scenic Lighting (Full Package)
This course is a comprehensive detailing of all materials required for successful completion and communication of a design package.
MFA Studio II: Costume (Period Styles and Research)
This course is an in depth study of clothing styles throughout the ages and methods of research and design for the period costume design.
MFA Studio III (Non-Theatrical Design)
This course is an exploration of design methods for film, television, industrials, architecture, and more.
MFA Studio IV (Digital Rendering)
This course focuses on expanding methods of graphic representation to digital media including, but not limited to Photoshop.
MFA Studio V (Portfolio)
This course involves a preparation of digital and hard copy portfolios and related self marketing materials and strategies.
MFA Studio VI (Flip Flop)
This course provides an opportunity to design in fields other than the course of study.
Text Analysis, Research, and Interpretation
This course reviews various methods of analysis of a dramatic text. This includes inductive, deductive, structural, and methodical approaches. It also examines techniques for production research and explores issues of interpretation that affect the development of a play's translation into a production on stage.
This course examines the nature of director/designer collaboration. Areas studied and developed include the director's visual perceptions, visual interpretations, and visual choices. In addition, attention is focused on discovering and uncovering these characteristics embedded in theatrical texts.
Conceptualization and Composition
This course investigates conceiving and developing a production concept and/or production context. It also explores how the concept/context is useful in the formation of a plan of staging. Finally, it examines potential blocking and staging implications that result from conceptualization and context, as well as composition implications.
History of Directing and Scenography
This course is a historical survey of the work of directors and designers. Particular emphasis will be on seminal production plans for notable directors and designers of the 20th and 21st centuries.
History of Architecture and Interiors for Theatrical Design
This course is a study of architecture and interiors throughout history as it impacts design for theatre. This course will look at periods of design from ancient Egypt to the early Twentieth Century.
Historical Costume Research
This course is a study of clothing, accessories, and customs of selected theatrical periods as an approach to costuming period plays.
This course is an in depth exploration of manual graphic representation skills and techniques including drawing and painting.
Advanced Computer Drafting
This course is a study of computer drafting techniques and procedures used in the preparation of design and technical drawings for theatrical scenery, costumes, and lighting.
Advanced Costume Construction
An advanced course in building costumes for the stage. Advanced techniques in sewing as well as pattern design and drafting is included. Repeatable for credit with different emphasis.
A study of costume crafts explores methods for making various accessories for the stage which may include but is not limited to hats, period boots, masks--wig styling as well as learning to dye, paint and distress costumes may also be addressed.
Theory and practice of scene painting for the theatre, with hands-on projects implementing various scene-painting techniques. Students will also have the opportunity to work as scenic artists on departmental productions.
This course explores the practical application of automated lighting and other advanced lighting technology, allowing for skillful integration into a lighting design.
This course provides professional hands-on experience in the theatre or film industry; it is intended for students who do a full-time internship over the summer or during a regular full term.
Final Creative Project
To be taken the last year of training. This project requires the student to design a major University Theatre production. The student must demonstrate mastery of design. A complete written report of the project must be approved by a faculty committee. The report is part of the final examination for the degree of Master of Fine Arts with a major in Theatre for students in Design.